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Kevin Smith doesn’t do cute and cuddly. So the opening scene of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back at first feels wrong: two moppish toddlers sitting stroller-by-stroller outside the Quick Stop while their moms run inside. When one of the mothers, all ’70s hair and jangly jewelry, is approached by a stranger about the wisdom of leaving her child alone, she unleashes a string of expletives in a who-does-he-think-he-is tirade to her puzzled-looking son. Soon the boy is climbing over to the other kid’s stroller, practicing his new favorite word: “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Flash forward 20-odd years to the film’s titular deadbeats, hanging outside the same Quick Stop and still amused by the same word, rapping it into an intro to the Time’s “Jungle Love.” Cue argument about the best band of the ’80s, and be reassured that Smith has returned to form. Described prettily by Smith as “just me blowing myself for 90 minutes,” Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is indeed a self-referential homage to everything Smith: his favorite actors, his favorite films, and, lest we forget, his previous movies. After being banned from the Quick Stop by Randal and Dante (Jeff Anderson and Brian O’Halloran; see Clerks), Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) trek to Hollywood to stop the production of Bluntman and Chronic, a film about the comic-book characters modeled on the duo (see Chasing Amy). Amid the quickly tiring barrage of cocksucking and fart jokes, the number of pop-culture references the pair are exposed to along the way is dizzying, and not always reverential: Miramax, the producer of the fictional Bluntman and Chronic and the real-life distributor of Clerks, Chasing Amy, and this film, gamely takes a few hits (“After they made She’s All That, everything went to hell”), as does the sometimes-unfortunate filmic pairing of easy targets Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (don’t see Dogma). Pretty much everyone who was anyone in Smith’s earlier films shows up here, in addition to a couple of self-mocking directors (Wes Craven and Gus Van Sant, who’s too busy counting a wad of cash to care that the set of Good Will Hunting II is in chaos), a forgotten hero (“Look! It’s Mark Hamill!” pops up onscreen when his costumed Cock-Knocker character appears), and some teen-dream newcomers (on the set of Bluntman and Chronic, an exasperated James Van Der Beek tells a clueless Jason Biggs, “You wouldn’t last a day on the Creek”). With the jokes coming fast and furious throughout, many of them miss, but you’ll probably be too busy trying to digest the previous reference to notice. You might not have quite as good a time watching Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as Smith obviously had making it, but when was the last time you could laugh at the product of someone else’s fellatious fun? —Tricia Olszewski